Our Purpose


Maintaining reliable infrastructure and increasing city resilience is an urgent mission for today’s leaders, as the effects of worldwide changes (such as extreme weather) manifest locally and create more and more pressure to take action. WISRD's purpose is to help cities increase the resilience of their foundational infrastructure systems, which means increasing their ability to bounce back and provide needed services after one or more shocks to those systems.



Existing Condition of U.S. Infrastructure


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently gave U.S. infrastructure a “D+” rating and estimated that $3.6 trillion is required for infrastructure investment by 2020. The poor condition of U.S. infrastructure is primarily attributed to deterioration due to age and lack of maintenance, which is the first reason infrastructure can fail.


Additional Modes of Failure


In addition to aging, infrastructure can fail when subjected to severe shocks from external events such as natural hazards (e.g., landslides, floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes) or acts of terrorism. A third type of failure, collocation failure, can occur when weak-links between different collocated infrastructure components create an even greater risk of cascading failure. By analyzing these three modes of potential physical failure to critical infrastructure systems, WISRD helps city leaders, public works directors, planners, and emergency managers address the vulnerabilities within their city's infrastructure.



WISRD Helps Cities Make Smarter CIP Decisions


City leaders are struggling to prioritize capital improvement projects in a meaningful and cost-effective manner. WISRD defines the decision to improve infrastructure by running projects in a particular order as “a critical path” to infrastructure resilience. By identifying a vulnerability-based critical path for creating resilient systems (rather than over-designing every project for resilience), WISRD supports the efforts of city leaders to prioritize infrastructure investments in the most intelligent and economically efficient manner possible.



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